A man says something. Sometimes it turns out to be the truth, but this has nothing to do with the man who says it.
I once broke up with a boy because he wrote me an awful poem.
I didn’t want a world in which I had to choose between blind human babies and tortured monkey ones. To be frank, that’s the sort of choice I expect science to protect me from, not give me.
The Indians did not like to see anything odd — a white squirrel, for instance. . . . They thought such oddities were messages, were omens of evil. . . . And the Indians put a great deal of faith in dreams.
Allegra’s Austen wrote about the impact of financial need on the intimate lives of women. If she’d worked in a bookstore, Allegra would have shelved Austen in the horror section.
Owls hoot in B flat, cuckoos in D, but the water ousel sings in the voice of the stream. She builds her nest back of the waterfalls so the water is a lullaby to the little ones. Must be where they learn it.
I’m seeing so much of America today,” Luya kept telling Lowell in nervously accented English. It became a personal catchphrase for him — whenever things were not to his liking, he’d say that — I’m seeing so much of America today.
I am the daughter of a psychologist. I know that the thing ostensibly being studied is rarely the thing being studied. (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, p. 99)
Maybe anosognosia, the inability to see your own disability, is the human condition and I’m the only one who doesn’t suffer from it.
Language does this to our memories—simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. An oft-told story is like a photograph in a family album; eventually, it replaces the moment it was meant to capture.
We used to believe that memories were best retrieved in the same place that they were first laid down. Like everything else we think we know, that’s not so clear anymore.
An “attack on SeaWorld” might mean a bomb, or it might mean graffiti and glitter and a cream pie in the face. The government doesn’t always seem to distinguish between the two.
I admired her choices though I wouldn’t have made them.
Without our listening, all the stories are the same story.
Emotion and instinct were the basis of all our decisions, our actions, everything we valued, the way we saw the world. Reason and rationality were a thin coat of paint on a ragged surface.
Because what could be more Casablanca? Suddenly Harlow saw that what she’d always wanted was a man of principle. A man of action. A domestic terrorist. Every girl’s dream, if she can’t have a vampire. (Chapter four pg 202)
You can’t imagine the white-hot fury someone who can’t sleep has toward the beautiful dreamer beside him.
Out there is South Dakota,” Kitch had said, “Matt said they treated Fern like some kind of animal.
We are so excited that, in the strangely illuminating phrase my mother favours, we’re completely beside ourselves.
There was no point in telling my father. He’d never let me quit after only one day. He couldn’t help me and he’d make some terrible blunder if he tried. Parents are too innocent for the Boschian landscapes of middle school.
So many problems, however infinitely varied they first appear, turn out to be matters of money. I can’t tell you how much this offends me.
Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.
He envied the bark, which had been, in the course of one lifetime, both forest and fire. One endured; one destroyed.
The dogs came racing up the stairs. They danced at Rima’s feet, frantic with the need to communicate something to her. Little Timmy’s down the well! Feed us ice cream and potato chips! Sometimes there’s a benefit to not sharing a language.
But I knew that, both in fairyland and the real world, too, wishes were a slipperier things.
Trees are as close to immortality as the rest of us ever come.
Like they say, you never know a person till you’ve done time with them.
Technically a memoir, ‘The Woman Warrior’ becomes almost magical through its inclusion of folk tales, dreams, and revisions.